I still remember when I first saw a light show on a building. I was visiting a friend in New York who lives on 34th street (the same street as the Empire State Building.) I loved laying in bed and watching the light show while I was snuggled under blankets.

Now Dallas has caught up with using light as an artistic media. And in typical Texas Style, Dallas has made it on the map in just three years.

October seems to be the month for light shows. Maybe that is because of the weather. To me the combination of Halloween candy, costumes, and  light shows makes October my favorite month. You could consider the light shows on buildings kind of an architectural costume.

                                            Aurora seen in Dallas in early October.

Aurora is an immersive public art event of light, video and sound  The Dallas Art District became a canvas for creativity.  Aurora-powered by Reliant, the expansive and free art and light experience, took place downtown on Friday, October 16, 2015,

For one night, the Dallas Arts District was transformed into an open-air urban playground of new media art: light, video, sound, and performance. Visitors watched  their everyday urban environment converted into an interactive site for some of the world’s most innovative and new art.

“Aurora completely pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the Dallas Arts District,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “It reshaped for the tens of thousands of people how art can be experienced, and demonstrated that the Dallas Arts District can be the perfect setting for events of this scope and scale.”

Aurora co-founders Shane Pennington and Joshua King have partnered with the nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center to produce an event that in 2013 drew more than 30,000 visitors and has already received international attention. And this year over 50,000 people came to see the spectacle.



                                   The grand finale of the 2015 Dallas Videofest

2013-10-04-Expanded-Cinema-Multiplicity-047Then the Dallas Videofest  had another light show later in October using the Omni Dallas Hotel as its canvas.

Expanded Cinema is a program of video art works wrapping the exterior of the Omni Dallas Hotel, Texas, with audio simulcast by 91.7 KXT.

This year’s edition, curated by Justine Ludwig, Director of Exhibitions/ Senior Curator at Dallas Contemporary, consisted of works by artists from across the country addressing the interrelationship of memory and place. Artists included Andrea Sisson, Andrew Scott, Jeff Gibbons, Gregory Ruppe, Jordan Tate, Wyatt Niehaus, Chris Collins, Joey Versoza, Michael Morris, and Carolyn Sortor.

Each piece was specifically designed for display on large exterior LEDs on the Omni Hotel Dallas. Expanded Cinema, first presented in 2012, was named the number one art event in Dallas by several local news publications and attracted media attention worldwide.

In 2015,Expanded Cinema closed Videofest the week after the festival. This unique public art project has already added cultural prestige to the city of Dallas.

The official public watching party was at the base of Reunion Tower, 777 Sports Street, Dallas, TX 75207.  Suggestions for viewers: Bring a lawn chair and cooler and, remember, clean up your trash.

Both shows made their debut in 2012. And that timeline marker put Dallas on the map in the category of lighting up a building as art.